Samsung SmartThings Outlet Discontinued? Fire Hazard? Out Of Stock Everywhere!

Now for the last 5 months its been impossible to buy a ST Outlet other than buying a ST Starter Kit which when it was £99 pounds over the Christmas period it may have been worth it, as not only would you get the outlet worth £40-45 but a presence sensor, multi sensor, motion sensor and a hub which you can easily sell for around £50 on eBay.

Now back on topic, the reason for the zero stock available in the UK is it has some problems with handling power-hungry devices is making them melt but that’s not limited to power-hungry devices it can be due to the device your using doesn’t have a plug up to specification, see more information on the matter over at the ST community now this problem was first reported in march 2017 but is has taken them until the 5th February 2018 for the following statement to be released.

We are aware of, and are currently addressing, an issue affecting earlier generation three-pin SmartThings Power Outlets in the UK.

We have determined that, under extremely rare circumstances, there can be a loose connection to a pin of the plug inserted into the outlet. We have conducted a thorough analysis and can confirm that the Power Outlets have safety features within them designed to mitigate safety risks from such issues.

Customers who have any related concerns should contact SmartThings support through their SmartThings App (open SmartThings App >>> Dashboard >>> Support) or directly using support@smartthings.co.uk where a member of our team will be able to assist.

Another ST Staff member posted the following on the 12th December 2017

A large number of UK receptacles contain some sort of thermal response fuse (lived there for almost 2 years and in EU for 27 years), and they generally go up to 13A. Problem is power. In the US, 20A @ 120V means a total instantaneous AC power of 2400VA, whereas the UK 13A plug can deliver a total of 2860VA @ 220V. That extra 460VA is what manufacturers don’t always take into account, causing the trouble. The smart plug is simply not designed to accept that max 2860VA draw a plug (and breaker) in the UK permits. Then boom.

I don’t use ST Outlets for switching anything I have three around my home to boost the ZigBee signal around my house. I setup my friend’s house over the Christmas period which is having huge problems with device drop-outs in parts of his house where ZigBee signal is weak, there are no UK socket alternatives in the UK to boost the signal so he is having to waiting for stock to become available. Currently I can’t recommend SmartThings to anyone unless you can get your ST Hub in the middle of your house you may get away with it while waiting for the new Outlet to become available also there is a 32 device limit with ZigBee without repeaters so with the starter kit you can have a maximum of 64 devices doesn’t sound a lot but if you start doing all your windows and doors it soon adds up, By the way Z-Wave has a device limit of 232 and there’s more options to boost a Z-Wave signal which is any device not powered by batteries but there are exceptions to this.

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Samsung SmartThings Motion Sensor Gen 3

I recently purchased two Samsung SmartThings Motion Sensors as amazon had them for £19.99 each, I opened one and noticed straight away they were different from the previous model.
This third generation version has a model number of STS-IRM-251 now the more annoying is that they have changed the battery type again, yes that correct three versions of the ST Motion Sensors all use different batteries. Now the first generation doesn’t really effect people in the UK as they was never available, but changing from a CR2450 too a CR2477 is just annoying for people who have both generations.
The cost difference is huge the CR2450’s I normally buy is a Duracell 4 pack that is £6.79 (Feb 2018) but a 4 pack Panasonic CR2477 is £15.90. Now the difference between the batteries is the CR2477 is bigger so it will last long in fact it has the highest capacity of lithium button cell batteries at 1000mAh which is 400 more than the CR2450 so that’s 40% more but paying 134% extra for around only 40% extra battery life isn’t great now there are cheaper alternatives but I like to stick to brands I have heard of and most of the time a bargain is too good to be true.
I now use the following batteries for my smart home CR1620, CR2032, CR2450, CR2477 and CR123.

Remove The Delay Between SmartThings & Logitech Harmony

The way the Logitech Harmony communicates with SmartThings is a pull method which means every 5 minutes ST pulls the information from Logitech this means if you turn on a Activity using the Logitech Remotes or SmartApp ST won’t know about it for up to 5 minutes.  This means using ST to react to Logitech activity’s useless, Logitech does provide Hue integration if thats they smart lighting system you use but its also very limited its either all the time or at set times which is rather limited.
Logitech can connect the other way so we can make Logitech turn on stuff in ST when activities start. So if we turn on the match Logitech Switch in ST we will have little to no delay.

This is an example my activity is called Cable on Logitech Harmony and Living Room Cable on SmartThings, So we need make Harmony turn on Living Room Cable when that activity starts and off when the then activity stops.
You will need to use the Harmony App and Go into the menu > Harmony Setup> Add/Edit Devices & Activities
Your need to setup ST ingratiation first if you haven’t already this is in devices, Add Device > Home Control > Samsung SmartThings


If you have already set this up, SmartThings will appear in your devices, you may have to add your Harmony Devices as you didn’t before to do this press Re-Login

Once you have setup the SmartThings ingratiation you now need to go though all your activities adding the ST switch to each, continuing with cable as our example.

Select a activity, you will then need to edit the start and end sequences

As you can see Living Room Cable is set to turn on in the start sequence, to do this press the Edit Home Control as the very bottom

And this is the end sequence

Now you can do anything you want when a activity starts or ends without delay, there is a issue though when switching activities I have a piston to solve this available here COMING SOON.

All My webCoRE Pistons

Here is a list of all my pistons with a brief description of what they do!

Lights Automation Basic – Light Automation using just door contact
Lights Advanced  COMING SOON – Light Automation using motion and contact sensors
Lights With Logitech Harmony – Light Automation that changes if depending on Logitech Harmony state
Logitech Harmony – With changes to your Harmony setup we can remove the delay between ST & Harmony
Logitech Harmony Lights – Now we have no delay between ST & Harmony we have have different light setup depending on Lux and/or Harmony Activity
Modes – This switches modes
Someone Arrives – This changes to the correct mode when someone arrives home
Everyone Leaves – This changes mode to away once everyone leaves
Arrival Lights  COMING SOON – This turns on lights depending on conditions when someone arrives

Door Bell Notification COMING SOON – This along with a raspberry pi can email you when a door bell is pressed

Basic Button (With Held Option) – A few simple pistons for a single button devices
One Button Turned Into a 4 Button – Make a single button device do more

House Averages – Creates a global variables for the the average Temperature, Humidity and illuminance
Downstairs Averages – Same as “House Averages” but with the global names changes to down
Upstairs Averages – Same as “House Averages” but with the global names change to up

The Best SmartThings Community Made App – webCoRE

Without webCoRE I would of outgrown SmartThings as without this app I wouldn’t be able to do most of what I do with SmartThings, The App is so powerful and that good the creator was recently hired by SmartThings. What is webCoRE?

The web Community’s own Rule Engine (or for short, webCoRE) is a general rule engine for SmartThings. It works by allowing users to create scripts that are interpreted and executed by the SmartThings SmartApp, allowing for complex decisions.

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Nest & Samsung SmartThings – 2018

In my original post back in 2016 I explained that Nest didn’t officially support SmartThings and it was a community made device handler that made it work. Well I would love to say two years later there is now a official way to connect to SmartThings, but I’m afraid it’s still not the case but a another  community based App & Device Handlers took over which also brings Nest Protects & Camera’s to SmartThings.
For more information about NST Manager go to there wiki page which explains everything you need to know. It has become harder to setup as Nest haven’t been a great help to the creator so you now also have to sign up to be a Nest developer to be able to setup NST Manager, for more information on that see this PDF. I have my Nest Thermostat & two Nest Protects connected to SmartThings this way and it works great, In my eyes it’s in the top 5 most important community made App.

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SmartThings Life360 – With Added Refresh Command & More

Around a year ago I modified the official Life 360 App & Device Handler to add a refresh button so if Life360 didn’t update correctly a quick press of the refresh button and Life360 updates the status of all your Life360 devices.
A few weeks ago a user on the ST community called btrial added

  • Distance from your chosen place in Miles or KM (can be used in webCore)
  • User can change display of distance to either Miles or KM in the configure page
  • Sleep / awake status (can be used in webCore)
  • Last location update date/time

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Hue B Smart App – Add Groups/Rooms & Scenes to SmartThings – Remove the popcorn effect!

Around a year ago I took over development of a SmartThings App called Hue B Smart which allows you to import your Hue groups and scenes into SmartThings allowing you to have less devices in your ST App as you wont need every bulb added but also remove the popcorn effect when turning on loads of single lights at the same time using ST.
Now this is a worst case but shows you how bad it can be.

Before we continue I must say that to install the Hue B Smart app your will have to remove all your current Hue devices and app from SmartThings, I know that this can look like a huge task as you will have to add all your devices back into you ST apps once they have been installed using Hue B Smart. But you will have less devices to add back as your now be able to just add the group.

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Knocki: Make Any Surface Smart

Update – As of Jan 2018 I still haven’t received my 3 Knocki devices, currently they should be delivered around spring

I have recently backed Knocki on Kickstarter. The campaign got nearly 9,000 backers and raised 1.1M dollars.

Knocki is a small wireless device that instantly transforms ordinary surfaces (walls, tables, doors, furniture, countertops, & more) into powerful yet easy to access remotes for your favorite devices and software.

It’s compatible with all the top IoT
8010c8acc8f5bda810b52904acccc710_originalTheir 1M dollar stretch goal unlocked the API so the possibilities are going to be endless.

My main reasons for backing is to reduce the use/need of a mobile or tablet to execute home automation tasks. I backed the 3 Knocki kit with one going under my coffee table in the living room to be able to turn control the TV and Lights in that room, one in the kitchen to be able to control music and again lights from the kitchen worktop. The third I currently don’t have any plans for and will decide when I receive them around christmas time but if it’s anything like the Neeo Remote I backed I wont be getting my hopes up for a christmas present. I have applied for the alpha program to be a tester so I could get it earlier we will have to wait and see a full review will be done when I have received them.

Loop Energy Saver Review

As of Jan 2018 I haven’t seen this in stock anywhere for over 6 months

I purchased Loop Energy Saver before I got the keys to the new house and was one of the first things I did on completion day as I wasn’t moving in on that day and don’t plan too till near the end of march so there wasn’t much else too do. I got both from B&Q for 50 pounds delivered. I went with the Loop as it seemed the best at what I need it to do I did look at much more expensive Z-Wave devices but there wasn’t really any added benefit as your not going to start automatically turn devices off or getting a notification your using too much.

The setup is easy you go to the Loop website and click setup and follow the instructions and within a few minutes you should be able to see your real time usage of electric. Gas is a bit harder to setup up well they say that but mine worked first time you have to place the sensor on your gas meter and turn your heating on for 30 minutes, after which loop will let you know if its working, if not your have to move the placement of the sensor and try again. Electric is realtime but gas it’s on a 15 minute delay.

Summary Loop Energy Saver

I just wanted to be able to track our usage and see if we can make changes over time, Over the last two weeks of being in the house slowly changing the 50/60 Watt light bulbs to Phillips Hue White which use 9.5 Watts at full brightness. It was easy to see the difference it was making on the RealTime Loop page.

Currently as the house is not being lived in the energy used when we are not there is under 10 watts as only the hubs and a fridge. Explore Loop Energy Saver
You can show a graph for year, 6 months, 3 months, Week and day. You can compare your electricity usage to your gas, other users or yourself. There’s a CSV export for both so you can analyse data the data how ever you want.

You can set weekly goals and/or budgets to help you try and save money and the planet, as it gives you a CO2 total each week. After its gathered enough data (around 30 days) it will offer alternative energy providers that should save you money but this is only useful if your no longer in contract.

The device is made by a UK company called Navetas there are rumours that they are making a water sensor which I hope they are but its not going to be cheap as you might need to get a plumber in to install it.

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